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Crustacean Celebrations

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Clawing at the remnants of summer? Don’t get crabby – or do get crabby! Grab these LivingSocial deals on seafood festivals around the country, and relish the last few weeks of the season in sizzling, savory style.

Californians can show some lobster love at the Long Beach Original Lobster Festival from September 11-13. Celebrate the end of summer with fresh lobster served hundreds of different ways, and keep the family entertained at the live sports tent, the children’s area, or at one of many live concerts, from decades dance parties to zydeco.

If oysters curb your seafood craving, head east to the Shuckeroo Beer & Oyster Fest on September 12 held at the Fairgrounds in Washington, DC, near Nationals Park. Enjoy over a dozen varieties of local oysters, and wash them down with unlimited samples of more than 60 beers during a three-hour tasting. Upgrade to a VIP ticket and savor an extra hour of beer tasting, 12 complimentary oyster-tasting tickets, and early admission to the event. A portion of the proceeds from oyster tastings will benefit the Oyster Recovery Partnership.

Baltimore natives will love this deal on a Charm City favorite. Venture to Canton Waterfront Park for the second annual Baltimore Seafood Festival on September 19, featuring fresh shrimp, oysters, and, of course, Maryland blue crabs from local vendors and restaurants. Learn to serve up seafood like a pro with a cooking demo, or treat your kids to face painting and games in the family area. Remember the end-of-summer celebration with a complimentary souvenir glass and swag bag.

Party like a rock star at the Governors Island Seafood & Music Beach Party on August 22 as you chow down on a seafood platter of clams, calamari, and lobster rolls.  Cruise over on a ferry from the Battery Maritime Building, and kick back to tunes from bands like Badfish: A Tribute to Sublime, Top Shotta, and Gary Nesta at the Governors Club, one of New York City’s only waterfront clubs, featuring a sandy beach and boardwalk to set the mood.

Or if you’re looking to throw a seafood-themed fête of your own, LivingSocial has the best deals on the juiciest Maine lobster and crab available for delivery from coast to coast.

Intern Interruption: Back-to-School Picks

iStock_000057270126_SmallFortunately or unfortunately for college students, “the endless summer” is only a state of mind… time for the annual trek back to campus! With the long academic year comes a laundry list of dorm room must-haves that can break the bank unless you shop smart. No one appreciates the value of a dollar like a college student, so we asked LivingSocial interns about some of their favorite back-to-school essentials. Check out their picks, and then head over to our Back-to-School collection for even more deals to help crafty college students save for the semester.

 

My favorite Back-to-School deal is definitely the MLB Earbuds. Doesn’t matter where I am, I want everyone to know I’m a SF Giants fan!
Julia, digital marketing

I’d choose the gourmet 12-piece silicone and ceramic utensil set. I’ll be in an apartment this semester, and this deal makes it easy to get all the basic cooking utensils for my kitchen in one purchase.
Mackenzie, accounting

Bluetooth headphones get a lot of criticism, but they can be great for running or the gym. The wire doesn’t get tangled, and the charge can usually last for a few days. 
Jason, product

I take tons of pictures on campus that take up a lot space on my phone and laptop. The picture keeper USB photo drive automatically saves all my photos to one place and would save me so much time and precious hard drive space.
Harmeet, communications

The personalized pillowcase would be my top choice because my pillow case has gotten old, and I’ll need to buy a new one for the start of school. Also, students like to start school with fresh, clean, and perfect dorm rooms.
Praveen, data science

My favorite deal is the portable window solar charger. My roommate is an environmental studies major, and I think that lots of millennials – particularly college kids – are really concerned about the environment. This is such a fun and savvy way to hop on the environmentally-friendly trend, plus there are never enough outlets in the library.
Alice, consumer marketing

The Bluetooth shower speaker means I get music in the shower! Bathing will never be so much fun!
Sumanth, product

My favorite LivingSocial deal from the Back-to-School collection is the two free months of Audible.com.  I’ve been looking into getting a membership for a while now, so this is a great way for me to try out the site and see if I like it!
Allison, accounting

A Little Trip to the Big Easy

This post is part of our Escapes Editor’s Picks series, where LivingSocial travel experts talk about great destinations to travel and tour.

While New Orleans erupts during Mardi Gras every February, the city’s charming Creole roots and musical heritage are on display year-round. The city begs to be explored — certainly you can find a weekend for some Crescent City revelry before summer’s over. Here’s an itinerary of experiences for a brief but memorable 48-hour stay, including great deals to delight you on your southern sojourn.

Begin your getaway in the heart of the French Quarter at the four-star Astor Crowne Plaza. Enjoy the pool above the city streets as well as authentic Creole cuisine at Dickie Brennan’s Bourbon House, located right on the property.

Start your first day at Dickie Brennan’s with a breakfast of Bourbon House Benedict and coffee, and take in the sights and sounds of central New Orleans with a table overlooking Bourbon Street. Next, get a lay of the land with a historic tour of the French Quarter, including must-see mainstays like Jackson Square, the Mississippi River, and the Quadroon Ballroom. You’ll work up quite an appetite with all that walking, so grab some lunch at Fritzel’s European Jazz Bar and enjoy high-energy performances from some of the best musicians in the birth city of jazz. Afterward, you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at one of the nation’s biggest celebrations at Mardi Gras World. A tour of this incredible space includes a history of Mardi Gras and a walk through the float den where you’ll get up close and personal with the floats for next year’s parade. For dinner, venture out to Desi Vega’s Steakhouse for the juiciest steak and seafood on this side of the Mississippi. At the end of the day, witches, ghosts, and vampires come out to play on a Witches Brew tour of the most haunted city in America. Your storyteller and guide will provide chilling counts of the supernatural as you explore haunting hotspots like the LaLaurie Mansion.

Forget about nightmares, though; you’ll be dreaming of Café Du Monde’s famous beignets, which you’ll be digging into for breakfast on day two. This New Orleans landmark has been serving up fresh coffee and hot beignets topped with powdered sugar since 1862. Afterward take a step back in time with a stroll through the Beauregard-Keyes House and Garden, built in 1825 and privately owned until 1970 when it became a museum to the rich history of Louisiana’s high society. Make a pit-stop for lunch at the award-winning Gumbo Shop, renowned for its home-style gumbo, jambalaya, and po-boy sandwiches. For a change of pace, escape to the heart of the Manchac Swamp in the afternoon for a pontoon boat tour of Louisiana’s breathtaking swamps and wetlands. Led by native Cajun captains, you’ll cruise through this private wildlife refuge and discover animals of all sorts. These swamp creatures are so accustomed to tours that they often respond to the boat captains’ calls! Head back to Bourbon Street for a last-chance dance and dinner at Bourbon Heat, where Creole cuisine served al fresco is the order of the evening. Finally, toast to a fantastic 48 hours in the Big Easy and your newfound love for NOLA with jazz and drinks at the Maison Bourbon.

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

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A Class Act

A happy african-american woman sitting on the floor of her living room looking at her laptop

Mid-summer means back-to-school is approaching, but kids don’t have to be the only ones preparing to hit the books. You may want to advance your career, but with the live wire that is your life, it’s hard to imagine spending hours a week in a classroom. With more than 6 million people enrolled in online classes in the last decade, the rise of online education has made it a breeze for all adults to learn new skillsets at a pace that best suits them. Check out a few of these LivingSocial online class deals to help you climb the corporate ladder with confidence.

Basic training courses give entrepreneurs or business beginners a running start in the rat race of finance. This Microsoft Excel course uses a diagnostic tool to build a custom syllabus and helps hone the exact skills you’ll need to succeed every day on the job. Whether you’re just starting out or a pro, you’ll be in a better position to close a sale with a one-month class in digital marketing taught in 10 live sessions by industry experts, lecturers, and tutors. Grab the Wall Street bull by its horns with this CPD-certified stock trading crash course, which covers topics like risk management and analysis and is offered in 11 languages.

Show, don’t tell, your clients what you know with a certificate in your field. Expand your artistic horizons and clout with a photography certification like this one, which offers hours of live online instruction for students of all levels. You are what you eat, and you’ll be able to prove it with a diploma in personal nutrition, created and taught by industry-leading dieticians specializing in food composition, diet, exercise, and sport nutrition.

Today, enter promo code EXPERIENCE at checkout to get 20% off your next purchase. Save even more and be the coolest kid in class.

When Nature Calls, We Listen

This post is part of our Escapes Editor’s Picks series, where LivingSocial travel expert Nick Stafford talks about great destinations to travel and tour.

There’s nothing like National Great Outdoors Month to inspire a return to nature for your next getaway. Whether luxe lodging is a prerequisite or going off the grid entirely sounds better to you, it’s time to lace up your boots and set off to one of our favorite places from our great outdoors collection.

Those seeking rustic and romantic seclusion should look no further than a houseboat on the Hood Canal. Located on the Puget Sound’s Olympic National Forest, cast away your cares with champagne in hand and escape the chill of Pacific Northwest nights with a dip in your private hot tub. Bubbles + bubbles = <3.

If you’d rather be oceanbound, consider this gorgeous hideaway in California’s Monterey Bay. The inn boasts lush green gardens as far as the eye can see as well as an on-site monarch butterfly habitat.

The more rugged adventurers can make a splash on a family-friendly West Virginia river rafting trip that epitomizes the state’s “wild and wonderful” motto. Explore each bend and meander of the New River and then doze off beneath billions of stars at a remote campground.

For those in need of a little detox, this New York fitness retreat pairs serenity with sweat amidst 23 acres of lush Catskills countryside. Attend daily training classes, enjoy healthy guided meals and reward yourself with a restful night’s sleep in this cozy 19th century mansion.

Adventurers will appreciate a six-day tour of Utah’s Mighty Five national parks. This expedition across America’s National Parks Capital takes nature buffs on guided tours of sprawling canyons, looming mountains, and brilliant red deserts like you’ve never imagined.

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$15 gets you $30 to spend on the best back-to-school brands from eBags.com. From laptop backpacks to travel totes and casual carryalls, you've got it in the bag, baby.